The Sidney girls basketball team continued its success against Class B, District 6 competition with a 48-42 win over Gering on Friday night at Gering High School.
Sidney, which improved to 14-5 overall on the season with the win, is now 5-1 against B-6 opponents.
Red Raider head coach Tyler Shaw felt fortunate to leave town with the victory.
“That very easily could have been a game that didn’t go our way down the stretch, but we had a few people make a few plays that extended the lead a little bit in the second half,” Shaw said. “Give Gering credit. They came with a great game plan and they gave us fits for four quarters. We were lucky to get out of here with a win.”
The game was tight for the first 22 minutes, but Sidney overcame a dry spell to open the second half before taking control late in the third quarter. The Raiders were held scoreless for nearly six minutes to start the third as Gering managed to trim an eight-point halftime defecit down to five. A free throw from Annalise Lecher stopped Sidney’s scoring drought with 2 minutes, 13 seconds to play in the frame. The Raiders then received a 3-pointer from Meaghan Ross and a three-point play from Lecher to extend their lead up to 31-21.
After closing within eight at the end of the third quarter, Gering trimmed Sidney’s lead down to four early in the fourth. However, a 3-pointer by Kelsey Knight pushed the Raiders’ advantage back up to seven. The lead hovered around seven to nine the rest of the way as Sidney held firm down the stretch.
The win was Sidney’s second of the season against Gering. No matter how good or bad one team is, Shaw said it’s never easy to play district opponents multiple times.
“A lot of people don’t understand that it’s really tough to play teams multiple times and play well enough to win,” he said. “It’s tough to overcome someone when you’re so familiar with them.”
Sidney’s Knight led all scorers in the contest with 14 points. She hit a pair of 3-pointers. The rest of the Raiders’ scoring was dispersed evenly throughout seven other players, which Shaw likes to see.
“We have a lot of girls that just feel comfortable within the offense,” he said. “If one has an off game, a few others are there to step up. It is nice.”
Mariah Conn paced Gering offensively with 12 points. Paige Lopez followed with 11, including one 3-pointer.
Neither team shot well at the free-throw line. Gering finished 11 of 26 and Sidney was 10 of 25.
Gering’s only lead of the game was 2-0 just 50 seconds into the opening quarter. Knight’s 3-pointer put Sidney in front the rest of the way. The Raiders led 10-6 after one and held a 24-16 advantage at halftime.
Sidney will be right back in action Saturday at Scottsbluff. Shaw said the Raiders are currently in one of their toughest schedule stretches of the season.
“It doesn’t get any easier. We go to Scottsbluff tomorrow, we have Mitchell on Tuesday and then we go up to Chadron on Friday,” he said. “This is a tough stretch for us. If we can focus on doing the little things, we’re hoping to be in a position to win.”
Gering, which dropped to 7-11 overall on the season, will hit the road for the East-West Shootout on Thursday at North Platte.
Sidney (14-5) ................................... 10 14 7 17 — 48
Gering (7-11) ................................... 6 10 7 19 — 42
SIDNEY: Kelsey Knight 14, Maddi Porter 7, Janay Brauer 4, Katelyn Sylvester 5, Abbey Mills 5, Annalise Lecher 5, Meaghan Ross 3, Emily Mahr 5.
GERING: Allie Boggs 3, Paige Lopez 11, Victoria Schwartz 4, Kaylee Bohnsack 6, Katie Martindale 2, Makenzie Dunkel 4, Mariah Conn 12.